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Saturday, September 07, 2013

One night in Pangaea

Despite living in Singapore, there are still a few places that I never would be able to get to except under extraordinary circumstances. One of these places is the high-end exclusive nightclub, Pangaea, tucked away in the basement of the grandiose Marina Bay Sands.

I'd heard of Pangaea before, but never thought I would be able to get in because of its steep entry fee and rich clientele. But thanks to a colleague, I and a group of colleagues managed to get in. And my colleague turned out to be well connected. We skipped the queue by dropping the name of my colleague's boyfriend. Then, I was momentarily barred from entering because I was dressed too casually in polo T-shirt, jeans and stained sneakers. But again the name-dropping worked.

So there I was, walking through this dark passageway, lit only be neon green lights. After walking one floor up, we entered this misty and dark hall that was the nightclub. The mist was like a fog, but it didn't smell of smoke. Perhaps it was used to add to the allure of mystery there… as if it wasn't dark enough already.

We went to our colleague's boyfriend's table, where a beautiful waitress in a skin-tight red miniskirt dress poured our drinks. Later, I saw her also holding a glass of champagne and toasting other guests, though I noticed that she never drunk from it.

A colleague mentioned that besides the rich clientele, there were also hookers. It was easy to spot them by their cliques and dressing. I saw two of them grinding with two Caucasian men. Another group stood behind our table, perhaps eyeing their next clients. I had no intention of approaching any of them, but even if I did, I doubt that my wallet would satisfy them.

The rest of the night was spent drinking, talking (or what talk we could above the noise) and dancing. There were also some professional dancers in LED costumes, who danced on the tables. That was probably the highlight of the night.

One thing that was curious to me was to see waitresses walking around with bottles of Dom Perignon. Some of these bottles also had sparklers in their mouths. They stopped at some tables, posing for photos, and pouring drinks. Most of the clients looked happy to be able to just pose with the neon-lighted large bottles. I don't think I'll ever understand this brazen worship to the Greek god, Bacchus.

But then, I guess all of this was just something that I would never normally be able to be exposed to. There were probably as many Singaporeans as there are fingers on both of my hands, in the entire hall of hundreds. The patrons were primarily Caucasians, with some well-heeled Asians too. I didn't see any celebrities, but then I was at one corner of the hall anyway, so I couldn't see very far.

I left with my colleagues at about 2am, about two hours after we had arrived. While walking down the staircase, I wondered why there was even a staircase at a nightclub, where the drinkers could potentially slip and fall and cause the nightclub an insurance nightmare. (Yeah, I was sober enough to contemplate that.) Anyway, I made it out safely, away from the strange Pangaea, probably never to set foot in there again.


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